Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday expressed his disappointment in his ruling party's defeat in lower house by-elections and said he would redress the losses ahead of July's upper house elections.
Describing the losses as "very disappointing," Abe told a press briefing on the matter that he would do his best to produce results as per his mandate on both domestic and diplomatic challenges.
"The outcome was very disappointing. I will fulfill my mandate by producing results as we face policy challenges on both the domestic and diplomatic fronts," the prime minister said.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) headed by Abe lost local polls in both Okinawa and Osaka prefectures on Sunday.
In the Okinawa No. 3 constituency, a candidate opposed to the central government's plans to relocate a controversial U.S. base within the island won the seat.
Tomohiro Yara, a freelance journalist, won the seat. He was backed by five opposition parties and a local party in Okinawa.
Yara beat the LDP's Aiko Shimajiri, who had the backing of the ruling party's coalition Komeito ally.
In Osaka, Fumitake Fujita, supported by the the Japan Innovation Party, won the seat in the Osaka No. 12 constituency.
This was despite Abe and senior LDP members visiting Osaka to support their candidate.
The Japan Innovation Party wants to transform Osaka City into an "Osaka Metropolis" with wards similar to Tokyo's system.
"We humbly accept the results, will analyze why we lost, and prepare for future elections," the LDP's Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai said.
Opposition party heads, meanwhile, said they will enhance their cooperation henceforth with an aim to unsettle the ruling coalition in the upper house election.